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By Curtis Lopez, Missouri Enterprise Project Manager and ISO Expert

The changes in ISO 9001:2015 include a big adjustment in how companies view their Quality Management Systems.  You may have heard the statement, “No more quality management department!” to describe those changes.  It’s a great sentence that captures the essence of the evolution to the new ISO 9001:2015, because now, everyone is responsible for quality, from top management, to middle managers, plant people, machine operators, back-office personnel…everyone has a part to play.

By Joe Bullinger, Missouri Enterprise Project Manager

Food Safety rules, regulations and requirements apply to many types of companies, even some you might not think of, like ingredients and packaging suppliers, the packers themselves, warehousing and storage providers, trucking and logistics partners… every company that handles food on the journey from farm to table.  If your company handles or touches products in the food chain, or if you want to get into that industry, there are strict rules you have to play by, but they don’t need to be overwhelming.

By Mar'Ellen Felin, Communications Service Provider for Missouri Enterprise

A marketing plan is a strategic document for a company’s sales, advertising, and other marketing efforts, serving as a blueprint to meet stated objectives within a specified time period. What a marketing plan isn’t: A lengthy formal document that gets filed away never to be seen again or, worse yet, an unwritten plan that resides in one person’s mind.

By Marlon Walker, Ph.D.
National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership

Small or mid-sized manufacturers in Missouri face many challenges in their daily operations.  Some of these challenges are technical in nature, involving processes crucial to product design, development, and manufacture.  Often, there aren’t readily available resources to help small and mid-sized manufacturers solve these issues – until now.  NIST MEP is piloting the MEP-Assisted Technology and Technical Resource (MATTR) program to better connect SMMs with the resources of the NIST laboratories.

Judy Cromer VP, Business Finance, St. Louis Economic Development Partnership

Our economy is booming, and business owners are looking for ways to take advantage of the opportunities that exist in a growing economy. Business owners have a deep understanding of how to run their business, because they are involved on a steady basis, however understanding different funding mechanisms and how to access capital for growth can sometimes prove difficult, based on this being a periodic need.  Many times there are different types of funding sources available in different geographical areas, and in some cases different types of capital can work together to fund an expansion project in what is called a capital stack.

By Joe Bullinger, Missouri Enterprise Project Manager

Any company involved in manufacturing or distributing food for human or animal consumption is surely aware of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which was signed into law in 2011.  The mandates contained in FSMA hit the large food manufacturers in 2015 and 2016, and now the deadlines are looming for the smaller companies.

By Stacey Marler, Missouri Enterprise Project Manager 

Search engine optimization or what is commonly called “SEO” is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine's unpaid results.  This is often referred to  as receiving a "natural" or "organic" search result. SEO may also include different kinds of searches, including web content, videos, news, and images.

By Bob Beckmann PE, C.E.M., Missouri Enterprise Project Manager    

Energy conservation is of course a good thing. It’s good for the environment and it’s good economically for companies implementing energy conservation projects. But, sometimes financial the return on investment is long. Missouri Enterprise is currently participating two programs which may help offset the expense of implementing energy conservation projects.  If your company qualifies for these programs, it could mean a quicker return on your investment, not to mention money on your bottom line.

By Jennifer Jarosz, Manufacturing Day Coordinator for Missouri Enterprise

 Manufacturing Day 2017!

 Encourage the value of careers and jobs in manufacturing!

  • Proudly show your dedication to your community!
  • Invite area Schools to see the exciting opportunities in manufacturing!
  • Show off what you do!

The event has grown tremendously each year, and as the trend continues, we expect even more Missouri manufacturers will participate this year.  I’m speaking of Manufacturing Daysm (MFG DAY), which this year officially occurs on October 6, 2017…but manufacturers can choose any day of the year to celebrate their important contribution to their community, the economy and American jobs.

By Kimberly Grizzle, Missouri Enterprise Area Business Manager

We have all heard the saying or possibly even used it ourselves, “America is a lawsuit happy nation.” This raises the question, “Does anyone take responsibility for their own actions anymore…or is it always someone else’s fault?”

Each year, thousands of product liability cases are filed in the U.S. against companies alleged to have sold defective or unsafe products to the public. Some of these are questionable, but there are also plenty of legitimate product liability cases where the product was indeed defective or unsafe. Whether legitimate or not, any product liability action against your company can cost substantial amounts of time and money. 

By Bob Beckman PE, C.E.M., Missouri Enterprise Project Manager    

The highly technical product design and development skills that your manufacturing company needs to succeed in today’s fast paced marketplace may often exceed your everyday, on-staff capacities.  And, that may be holding you back from any number of activities that can grow your sales and your bottom line profitability.  You’re not alone.

Frequently companies find they have a new design concept, but don’t have the internal expertise and engineering support staff to bring the idea to reality.  While many smaller companies may not even know where to start, some larger companies may just need a hand to get through a few months when the workload is high, but not substantial enough to justify a new employee. 

Either way, it’s important for manufacturers to know and understand Product Life Cycles, so they can push innovation to continuously grow the company.

By Joe Bullinger, Missouri Enterprise Project Manager

The Food Safety Modernization Act was signed into law in 2011, with key compliance elements rolling into effect starting in late 2015 and continuing through 2018.  The changes are big, moving the emphasis from response to food supply contamination to prevention.

by Tom Gordon, CFPIM, Missouri Enterprise Project Manager

My great-grandmother had the reputation of being a ‘spae-wife’ – meaning a physic.  She could very accurately read palms and cast horoscopes.  Many young ladies in our community relied on her for some pre-marriage guidance.  Around 1912 or so she started to see that many of our young ladies would be very quickly widowed.  She saw the future but the problem was that she could not see what it meant.

by Tom Gordon, CFPIM, Missouri Enterprise Project Manager

Focusing upon the “House of Toyota” as the paradigm for future development and sustainability is rather like American Airlines replacing the 777 with a dirigible – it is yesterday’s thinking, anchoring industry firmly in “Mediocristan!"1

By Jimmy Story, Missouri Enterprise Business Program Manager

In our continuing effort to make Missouri farmers and manufacturers of grant and funding opportunities that can help them, here is another article highlighting important support resources to think about.  Yes, you’ve known Missouri Enterprise for decades as a valuable resource for expertise and services in areas such as Business Growth, Continuous Improvement, Supplier Development, Sustainability and Workforce.  But remember that we’re also an outstanding resource to help our manufacturers and farmers learn about important grant and funding opportunities that can help.  It’s another part of Missouri Enterprise’s mission to Help Missouri Manufacturers Succeed.  Here are two important programs to know about:

by Tom Gordon, CFPIM, Missouri Enterprise Project Manager

Mitigation can cover many areas.  If our business involves access to the Internet, for example, we can mitigate the risk by firewalls, anti-virus etc. , and preventing our employees from accessing questionable websites  However, even the most stringent precautions cannot be 100% effective so the only real way to completely guard against hackers is not to go online.

By Jimmy Story, Missouri Enterprise Business Program Manager

For more than 33 years, Missouri Enterprise has been helping Missouri Manufacturers Succeed by providing a wide range of specialized services and expertise. Missouri Manufacturers know us for the technical expertise and manufacturing know-how we can bring them on a project basis or in an ongoing partnership.

One way we help manufacturers succeed is by making them aware of opportunities that can help them.  Perhaps surprisingly to some, food producers and processors comprise one of the largest segments of our state’s manufacturers. In addition to helping food producers in the areas of Business Growth, Continuous Improvement, Supplier Development, Sustainability and Workforce Missouri Enterprise actively assists these companies by helping them find State and Federal program that support food producers.

By Stacey Marler, Missouri Enterprise Project Manager 

Is your website able to transform with changes?  Have you ever wondered how certain websites look great on your mobile phone but others leave you stuck zooming in and out to just view the page?  Have you ever done a web search, clicked on a displayed option, and then immediately clicked “back” because the site you selected shows up in micro-print?  In this article, we will examine the reasons you simply must look at adding “responsiveness” capability to your website.

By Brenda Story, Missouri Enterprise, Director of Information Technology 

Healthcare has become a big part of our lives.  With the advances and sharing of medical and personal health knowledge growing, we’re all aware of important lifestyle choices we should be making to protect our health.  We all know we should try to eat healthy foods and exercise more, but it’s a safe bet many of us either ignore the facts, or “cheat” every so often.

By David Felin, Missouri Enterprise Project Manager

Your business is priceless to you, but do you know what your business is worth to others?  How effective are the processes you use to manage your business? Where should you apply your efforts to grow your business or increase its profitability? One of the best ways to answer these questions is to perform a business valuation.

By Stacey Marler, Missouri Enterprise Project Manager 

Having problems getting noticed on the internet?  Have you ever wondered how to “Get on Google”?  Google has recently simplified the way to do this and more with a program called “Google My Business”.  With Google My Business you are able to update all your company information in one easy location so potential customers are able to find you easily.

by Tom Gordon, CFPIM, Missouri Enterprise Project Manager

“I will lift mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.”
Psalm 121

It is an established and well-documented fact that small businesses, particularly family businesses, tend to fail.

By Curtis Lopez, Missouri Enterprise Project Manager

The new revision of ISO 9001 is scheduled to be released in the 4th quarter of 2015, and the now available Final Draft International Standard (FDIS) contains some significant changes that may seem minor on the surface, but will have deep impact on how manufacturers adopt and adhere to the standard in the future.  ISO/FDIS 9001:2015 is of course still subject to change prior to its release, but it does give a strong indication of what is coming.

By Al Marcus, Missouri Enterprise Project Manager 

There’s a big problem facing Missouri manufacturing:  The loss of the knowledge and experience that makes entrepreneurial companies survive, grow and prosper.  It’s going to result in loss of jobs and affect Missouri’s economic growth, and it will destroy the legacy of too many hard working business owners who’ve earned the right to get more out of their hard work when it’s time to transition their company to new leadership or ownership.

By T.H.L. Gordon, Missouri Enterprise Project Manager

In simplest terms, “risk” can be defined as “the effect of uncertainty on objectives.”  The hard reality of business is that there is no such thing as “the future” in the singular sense.  There are only multiple, unforeseeable futures, which will never lose their capacity to take us by surprise!  The developing history of risk management is simply an attempt to minimize the dangers and accentuate the positives, preparing an organization in advance for risks that could become reality in the future.